You’ve got character: Lex Luthor

You've got character: Lex Luthor screenshot

When it comes to competitive multiplayer games, we all have our favorite characters and classes. In this series, I’m putting some of mine under the microscope to see what makes them tick, how they fit into their games, and ultimately why I like them! Check out the previous entries – Kotal Kahn, Reaper.

With Injustice 2 freshly released this week, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect on my favorite character for the first game. The evil genius himself, Lex Luthor.

Sadly, while all the Superman and Batman mains from the original game have been enjoying easy wins with their largely unchanged characters, I’ve had to start from scratch. My boy, the guy who made the first Injustice one of my favorite fighting games of all time, did not make the cut for the sequel.

*Cue obnoxiously loud heckling and booing*

As personally slighted as I feel by Lex’s exclusion, I can almost understand it. Lex was always an odd mishmash of a character. In a fighter dominated by powerhouses that could seemingly do it all, Lex always seemed a little out of step; a mere-mortal trying to keep up with the Gods. He was a character that relied on screen control, but was somehow worse at zoning than every other character with a projectile. Parts of his kit seemed geared to rush-down, designed to let him bully characters with powerful set-ups, but he was also bulky and slow. He could get up in someone’s face, then totally miss them with his goofy normal attacks like Mr. Magoo trying to swat a fly.

It’s no surprise that most players bounced off of Lex. But, what they didn’t know was that when played right, the mad man could be one of the flashiest and most exciting characters in the game with a style all of his own. 

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A Resident Evil board game would rock my world

A Resident Evil board game would rock my world screenshot

Many years ago, I found a complete edition of The Legend of Zelda board game from the 1980s on eBay for a shockingly low price. I hesitated but a moment before I clicked “buy now” and waited in eager anticipation for it to arrive. Once it did, I checked to ensure it actually had all the pieces as advertised. It did and I was in Zelda heaven.

Is the game fun? Eh, it’s okay. Not the best translation of Zelda to the board game format, but certainly serviceable enough that I still play it from time to time. I do hold it in high standards compared to my other video game-board games because it at least tried to do something interesting and unique. What’s the rest of my collection? A hodgepodge of various themed editions of Risk, Monopoly, Jenga, Clue and chess. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mario chess set, but I’m a bit bored of seeing the same games slapped with a new IP every few months that we as fans are supposed to eat up. Although judging by my collection, that strategy is working.

That may be why I’m so excited about the recently funded Deadly Premonition board game. Have I played the original video game? No, but in the Kickstarter description for the project, its creators say the mechanics of it are a unique, original concept inspired by the finer points of its video game forbearer. That’s the type of thinking I want to see with video game-to-board game adaptations, and one I would love to see done with the original Resident Evil.

Let me give you an idea of what I’m imagining. You play as one of four characters from the original game, trapped in Spencer Mansion. Jill, Barry, Chris and Rebecca, all trapped with the horrors of the t-Virus inside. The game board would look similar to that of Clue, a big house you have to make your way around. Notable rooms from the game would be there; including the foyer, the dining hall, the greenhouse, the armor room, the exhibition room and that room where the spider comes down from the ceiling and scares the shit out of me.

The object of the game is to escape and each player is given a card with a certain set of instructions they alone must meet to get out. Each player has a set of cards that represent ammo and health, and as they move about the mansion they are attacked by various creatures they have to defeat with their cards. Mismanage your inventory, and you’re dead (just like the real Resident Evil).

In each room will be certain squares where you active a boss battle that is the key to escaping. Move to each room in the order demanded on the instruction card and get to the front door to escape first and you win. Draw trap cards where you die unless you can barter with the other players to come rescue you. There can even be a single player set of instructions where you have to rescue the other three characters. 

Oh, and did I mention a special rule where one of the players is actually Wesker, tasked with killing the other three players?

I’ve put a lot of thought into this over the past week, way more thought than the bozos below put into their ideas for the perfect video games to get the board game treatment.

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Thumper on Switch wore me out

Thumper on Switch wore me out screenshot

[Header Screenshot via Chillybilly‘s Twitter]

When Rez first came out in 2002, I learned a new word from its marketing campaign: Synesthesia. Basically, it means that one of your senses is being triggered by something it normally wouldn’t, so you might get the sensation that you’re hearing a color or touching music. Anyone who’s played Rez knows the feeling of trancelike focus that comes from a good run, but it’s an experience that isn’t easy to replicate.

There was a spiritual sequel to Rez in 2011 with Child of Eden, but despite the improved visuals, I didn’t get the same feeling until I loaded up Thumper a few days ago. I’m not sure what I was expecting from a game that billed itself as “Rhythm Violence,” but after playing for a bit, I’ll be darned if the developer, Drool, didn’t deliver on that promise.

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Did You Know Gaming wants to yell some facts about Tingle at you

Did You Know Gaming wants to yell some facts about Tingle at you screenshot

One of the strangest games I own is this little gem for the DS called Tingle’s Freshly Picked Rosy Rupeeland. Never released in the North America but playable on my DSi XL due to Nintendo not implementing region lock, it is an absolutely weird-ass adventure game that, for me, stands beside other great oddities to make it out of Japan like Cubivore, Prey the Stars, and Snowpack Park. I love a game that can leave me dumbfounded and Rupeeland achieves that without a sweat.

I thought I knew everything there is to know about Tingle, including information on games that never made it out of Japan. Turns out I was wrong, and this Did You Know Gaming video on the green fairy educated me to some new information by screaming it directly at me.

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Promoted blog: Lonely gamer

Promoted blog: Lonely gamer screenshot

[Years ago, we thought the console wars were about to restart in earnest. But with Dere as a witness to what has been happening lately, maybe the console wars have been a little one-sided, leading to more than a bit of frustration. Want to see your blogs on the front page? Get to writing! ~Strider]

I’ve learned pretty quickly and many times over that life is full of disappointment. Hey, you get used to it. You learn to live with it and learn what to do next time. I have a disappointment that has recently begun manifesting itself. A disappointment I didn’t realize had happened when I first started. A disappointment that has made me what I affectionately term myself “The Lonely Gamer.”

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